Here’s an idea: Instead of making New Year’s Resolutions we should look to Lent as a time for significant course correction. For starters, it will save many of you a significant amount of money on soon-abandoned gym memberships. Mainly, though, it is because Lent is a time of preparation, of looking at your heart to see what is, and what is not, attended to. Lent is your chance to look inwards, and then forwards. Or, as Paul writes in Philippians; ‘Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead’*.
As each day grows lighter and the promise of Spring pushes up through the thawing earth, Lent is perfectly placed for new beginnings. Even the name itself draws back to a West Germanic word meaning ‘lengthening of the day’. More than New Year, Lent is uniquely situated for hitting the reset button and creating a new and healthy heart habit. One way of doing that is through reading. These selected books each offer up a journey of thought, prayer and reflection over the course of 40 days - some tailored towards individual study, and some better placed for small group discussion.
As the wonderful Anne Dillard wrote, ‘How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives’, and for any of you wanting to spend your life with greater focus, thought and devotion, these Lent journeys are a sure step in a new direction.
A brilliant new Lent Course for 2019, based on the hugely popular film The Greatest Showman, this five-week course offers discussion points, biblical reflections and prayers based on short excerpts from the film.
The themes explored are: (1) 'A Million Dreams', exploring what liberation and hope might look like for an 'outsider' in the world; (2) 'Come Alive', exploring how the family of faith can bring hope and purpose; (3) 'Rewrite the stars', asks what forms of resistance can be placed in the way of salvation; (4) 'Never Enough', questions the temptations of false fulfilment that can lead us to betrayal; (5) 'The Greatest Show', shows how redemption is found when we discover 'the circus is our home'.
A journey through Lent, and through the deep transformation of Celtic Christianity.
Drawing on a rich heritage of Christian thought and reflection, Celtic Lent helps you practice and draw deeper into a spiritual understanding of Christ's death and resurrection. Each day offers a different well of wisdom of encouragement. They feature a theme that examines a part of Celtic Christianity, a contemplation, biblical reading, and a prayer.
Global in scope, but focusing right down on the role of ordinary people in conflict and violence, Reconciliation explores both the positives of multiculturalism and the challenges of accepting difference.
The book issues a vibrant call to the church to maintain and strengthen relationships locally, amongst members, clergy and laity; to cross borders to build relationships between different denominations, and to maintain open attitudes towards our neighbours from other religions and ideologies. 40 biblically-based meditations, with questions for reflection, are offered for use at weekly gatherings or for everyday devotion during Lent, on topics including Impediments to reconciliation, Risking the self, Humility, and Radical openness to the other.
This resource provides Lent material at an affordable price, using material by four well-loved contributors from the January 2019 issue of New Daylight alongside specially written questions for group discussion. It encourages groups and individuals, whether existing readers of New Daylight or those who are new to using Bible reading notes, to share their experience and reflect together on the Lent journey as a church community.
- Contemplative Prayer - Margaret Silf
- Place - Liz Hoare Exile - Michael Mitton
- Easter in Luke - Naomi Starkey
What does a radio, a salt-shaker, a toothbrush, shoes and a clock all have in common?
They can all be used to tell the story of Easter!
Taking its cue from Neil MacGregor’s ‘History of the World in 100 Objects’, At Home in Lent takes a look at everyday objects all around you, and uses them to share a message of finding God wherever you are. 46 everyday objects, to be precise.
Gordon Giles draws from objects such as bathroom-scales and alarm-clocks spiritual lessons that tie into the story of Easter, as well as taking a look at the rhythms of daily life and faith that we all follow along to. Nothing is too humdrum, to beige or banal to become an inspiring lesson.
A Lenten pilgrimage is testing. We have to search within ourselves for answers which lie hidden, to draw on each other's strengths, to reflect deeply and to trust that we will be enabled to integrate our many experiences. But there is a 'bright flame before us, a guiding star above'. And the God, who always calls us to love beyond ourselves, offers tender healing for our brokenness, longing that we may be consoled and renewed.
This vividly written book includes wide-ranging prayers and scripture readings, along with guides to using the material with groups and in preaching and worship.
In this introduction to the spiritual life, Gemma Simmonds shows that everyone can find prayer a rewarding experience. She explores the story and prayer tradition of Ignatius of Loyola, together with the contribution of the seventeenth-century Yorkshire woman, Mary Ward.
A guide for Lent and the rest of the year, The Way of Ignatius helps us to pray with the Scriptures in an imaginative way. To aid reflection and discussion, there are questions at the end of each chapter.
The Beatitudes are some of the best known of Jesus teachings. But too often they are thought to be a matter of simple common sense.
Popular author John Cox, brings his open and accessible approach to the challenging nature of these short sayings revealing them as among the most radical of what Jesus had to say.
This five-week course for individual or group study, explores the context of ideas in the Beatitudes, the insights that differing translations bring to them, and how they continue to challenge us in our world today including our attitude to possessions, to loss and forgiveness, to judgement and salvation.
Join the Church of England's 2019 LentPilgrim journey with Pilgrim Journeys: The Beatitudes
Pilgrim Journeys: The Beatitudes invites you to explore the unexpected and often challenging vision Jesus sets out in this crucial part of his teachings.
Each day provides you with a short reflection on a Bible reading, an invitation to pray and a suggestion of how you might respond to the Beatitudes' challenge to live as God intends, both as an individual and in community.
The Pilgrim Journeys booklets are ideal daily companions for anyone seeking to grow in the Christian faith.
They are suitable for those preparing for baptism or confirmation - including those using the Pilgrim discipleship course - but can be used by anyone at any stage of their Christian journey.
For these and more Lent Study Courses, check out our Lent Resources Department.
*Philippians 3:13 NIV
January 14th, 2019 - Posted & Written by Aaron Lewendon